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Fitness trends

#140Wednesdays: Which Old Fitness Trend Would You Bring Back?

Written on April 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm , by

Thanks, Suzanne, for helping us work our inner thighs.

Remember working out with Walkmans (you know, that thing before the iPod), Spandex bodysuits, and sweating with Richard Simmons? For our 20th anniversary, we took a power walk down memory lane to highlight the exercise highs and lows that have shaped us. So we decided to ask our Twitter followers which old trends they’d bring back. Here’s what they said:

@runpretty: headbands and side-ponies, for life!

@cdean17: Thigh Masters!

@angelpumpkin1: Jazzercise anyone?

@mntnbnd: I always do pushups/situps/pullups/jumping jacks/etc. Oldies, but goodies—no need for crazy equipment! #140Wednesdays

@DraperCharlotte: freestyle aerobics!

@cathiealanders : definitely aerobicizing! loved it!

@BBtruevalue: leotards was so cool back in day & it looks like i was going to dance rehearsal

Fit Links: More Reasons to Eat Chocolate and Trendy Ways to Sweat

Written on March 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm , by

Move over, Bikram. (Photo by Karen Pearson)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Would You Work Out in Your Closet?

Written on October 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm , by

See the mats, weights, towel and ball hiding on the right?(Photo courtesy of California Closets)

This setup is the thing some of our dreams are made of: Closets large enough to exercise in, let alone walk in? Unreal! It’s like what might happen if Sarah Jessica Parker and Jillian Michaels shared a house. (Wait, can we be roommates too?)

California Closets, a company that creates customized storage to fit their clients lifestyles, has seen an uptick in requests for spaces that serve multiple purposes, say, a closet with a coffee station, office and home gym. They claim that this can help people start their days off in an streamlined, stress-free way since everything they want is within the same space (rather than running downstairs for coffee, back upstairs to work on their laptops and watch TV, then to their home gym setup).

The company recently put together this massive closet space, which could also be done in a guest bedroom, that acted as an office and home gym as well. Cubbies store yoga mats and blocks, towels and dumbbells, and you can hide the desk space to make the area a zen retreat.

So we’d love to know: Would you ever work out in your closet? Do you have a dedicated space within your house that motivates you to exercise?

More from FITNESS: This reader turned her garage into a home gym and lost 30 pounds! Check out how she did it.

Barre Crazy!

Written on May 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm , by

Lately, I’ve been checking out all the barre classes available here in NYC. I have to admit it though, it’s a love-hate relationship I’ve got between me and that darn barre. I actually can’t recall thinking barre work was that difficult back when I was a little one in ballet class, but then again, I wasn’t working muscles to the level of exhaustion at the age of five either. But it’s no wonder dancers have an AMAZING body. A weekly date at the barre will guarantee to you definite body perfection.

Here's Kate in a 2006 issue of FITNESS!

Last week I stopped by Pure Yoga in Manhattan’s Upper West Side to take Kate Albarelli’s new Figure 4 class. Kate’s focus in Figure 4 is on “the graceful moves of ballet, the flexibility of yoga, and the energetic beats of contemporary dance.”

Like most barre classes that are so popular right now, this style of working out avoids building muscle bulk and helps women achieve that long, lean physique of a dancer (I say, “sign me up” every time, then the love-hate relationship hits me when I line up at the barre). Because whoa, I was hit with a definite body shock in the beginning of Kate’s class as I stood at the barre and attacked my leg and butt muscles. Other classes I’ve taken save the legs for last, but I kind of liked doing the hardest part first (and getting it over with!). However, Kate’s class was even better than I had suspected it could be. I knew I’d get an awesome workout, but I didn’t know that Kate would slip in so many helpful—and important—reminders about working out and using proper form.

Here are a few form pointers that I picked up (along with my derriére muscles!) during my sweat-session with Kate. Read more

I Tried It: Aqua Zumba

Written on March 21, 2011 at 10:38 am , by

While on a recent trip to Hawaii, I got the chance to visit the beautiful Hilton Kings’ Land resort for an early morning Aqua Zumba class!

Aqua Zumba at the Kings' Land resort!

Aqua Zumba at the Kings' Land resort!

What it is: All the latin-inspired, dance-fitness moves of regular Zumba but with added resistance from the water.  Our instructor guided us through the moves on dry land so we could see all of her movements. Just like in a regular Zumba class, we jumped, stretched and moved to the beat of the music — all while pushing our arms and legs through the water. (One neat trick: You can adjust the level of difficulty by closing or spreading your fingers when pushing through the water. Open fingers provide less resistance, while a flat, closed palm makes things a little harder.)

water zumba 3Who should try it: Everyone! This workout is completely beginner-friendly, but it even got my heart rate up. Plus: Being in the water makes even the fast-paced Zumba moves nice and easy on your joints.

My favorite move: The exercises didn’t have names, but I’d call this one the “Walk Like An Egyptian.”  Extend one arm out to the side, bent at a 90-degree angle with your fingers pointing down (like the back half of the famous pose). Keeping the top half of your arm lifted up away from your body, swing your hand toward your torso and then away, pushing the water away from you with a flat palm. You’ll feel it in your triceps — it gets right to that hard-to-tone “bat wings” zone.

Read more to find out how to find an Aqua Zumba class near you! Read more